Tag Archives: travel

10 Things I Learned This Summer

15 Aug

Classes don’t start for another week, but for me, leaving Chicago for Los Angeles always signals the end of the summer. I just wanted to take a moment to reflect on how–cool?  brilliant?  amazing?  rad?  ace?  brilliant?–this summer has been. So here are 10 things I know now that I did not know in May.

1) No matter what Google Maps says, this is not SpaceX.


2) Camera lenses got just as fogged-up in Florida humidity as glasses do.

Also a testament to my photography skills.

3) Elmo is sassy in person.

And astronauts are cool.

4) Ned Stark does not always make the best life choices.

Par for the course.

5) Watching an EVA (spacewalk) during a power-and-internet-outage sans car is worth a half-hour trek to the nearest Starbucks.

I couldn't dry my hair in the morning, but I could watch people working in orbit.

6) Space Corps Directive 1694 states that, during temporal disturbances, no questions shall be raised about any crew member whose timesheet shows him or her clocking off 187 years before he clocked on.

Also that it's cold outside, there's no sort of atmosphere.

7) During a shuttle launch, the heat will kill you at 400 feet away.  At 800 feet away, the sound will kill you. (Also, by consistently telling this to people as a “fun fact,” I have learned that I overuse the phrase “fun fact.”)

Obviously, we were not this close on launch day.

8) Tim Minchin is both really nice in person and really funny live.

"I mean, I think you're special, but you fall within a bell curve."

9) Embroidery is fun.

Possibly too much fun.

10) It is possible to get goosebumps in 90-degree heat.

Photo courtesy of NASA.


Music of the Helices

12 Aug

I don’t even know what I can add to this: There is a musical version of The Selfish Gene.

It’s running for 8 more days in Edinburgh. This is problematic on a number of levels, the most obvious being that I have already used up my spontaneous-adventure-vacation for this year on the Shuttle launch in July.

The article I linked to above states that “The show condenses The Selfish Gene into 70 minutes of catchy songs, innuendo and laughs as well as science: no mean feat.” My only question is: WHY is this not already a major genre, à la “space western”?

And before you ask, I have searched extensively and in vain for youtube clips of this show. Where there’s life, there’s hope, I suppose.

(Found via Friendly Atheist)

Atlantis or Bust

6 Jul

Leaving for the airport in t-minus 9 minutes, and unless Southwest performs the absolute secular miracle of inflight wi-fi, probably won’t have internet until the hotel later this afternoon.  Just wanted to clear a few things up:

1)  My suitcase is currently half-empty.  If you want me to try to smuggle Elmo or early-model spacecrafts home for you, just give me a yell.

2)  I have never been so happy to wake up at 4:00 in the goddamn morning.

3)  The sleep-deprived blogging/live-tweeting will commence when next I find the internet.  Be prepared.

4)  What do we say to the god of rain?  Not today!  (Sleep-deprived me may make even more unnecessary Game of Thrones references than well-rested me.  We shall see.)